Last October, I went to Chile in holidays to spend
some time with my family. I had not visited the place
for almost two years, so I was very excited about the travel.
It was a beautiful time, albeit short, with a lovely spring,
and also an occasion to see first-hand the
consequences of the February
earthquake. More than seven months later, there was still
plenty to experience, including a couple of heavy tremors
in the middle of the night waking me up, with the fear only
a person who wasn't there for the earthquake and its subsequent
aftershocks can experience.
My visit coincidentally happened at the same time than
workers from the biggest drugstore chain were on
strike because of highly unfair and abusive salary
conditions. This didn't make it to the mainstream
media, not even after the strike was over, thanks to
the influence a big chain, and all the money they can
inject in the media in the way of advertisement, can
Now that my sister lives in Concepción, I took
the chance to visit her at the same time than the
Día GNOME took place there.
We walked around the city and I got to see some of the
remains of the Alto Rio building, the only one that
completely collapsed during the quake, killing a
couple dozens of people. The building was brand new
and most of the people who died there had just moved in.
If there weren't more casualties, it was only because
many apartments were not inhabited yet.
The Día GNOME was a nice event, a bit too rushy
to my taste, but it was nice to catch up with plenty
of old pals and to meet the new ones who are driving
all the community efforts nowadays. Thanks to all of
them and also to the GNOME Foundation for making it
When I was there, I had the chance to attend the Rush
concert at the Estadio Nacional. I thought that I
wouldn't see the band ever and this presented itself
as a unique opportunity, that I couldn't resist.
Funnily enough, later it was unveiled that they will
be playing in Finland later this year, so I got
tickets for the concert here as well. Strangely,
tickets for the concert in Chile were more expensive
than for the one in Finland, even when Finland is a
country where people have a much higher purchasing
power. I guess we can blame economic inequality for
On the culinary side of things, I can say that
all my efforts on carrying a healthy diet with
mostly organic food, high in vegetables, and
low in fats and meats went to hell during the weeks there.
Empanadas, chacareros, churrascos, mechadas, asados,
choripanes, lomitos, and similar delicatessen
took me back to a quite relaxed diet, from which I still
can't recover. Also, by the time I visited Chile
I had quit coffee and caffeine in general for around
three months, but I couldn't help it going back to it
(although now I drink coffee only once every other day or so).
In any case, I enjoyed the time there a lot. Any feelings
of being a stranger at home lasted for the first days
only and soon I was feeling comfortable again. Coming back
to the northern winter wasn't easy but as they say,
home is there, where someone is waiting for
I made quite some pics, but not that many anyway since
I didn't feel that confident to carry the camera
around all the time. However, a handful of them are in
the corresponding flickr
set, in case you are curious.